July 10, 2013 10:15
South Korea and Russia have agreed to cooperate in development projects in Siberia. The two countries also agreed to improve cooperation in trade, investment, resource development and agriculture, as well as in joint projects involving North Korea.
The agreements were made in a meeting of a bilateral committee on the economy, science and technology in Seoul on Tuesday.
Russia pledged to help South Korean businesses develop grain distribution infrastructure including silos in Siberia. The two countries will also conduct feasibility studies on linking power lines and railways between Russia and South Korea through North Korea.
"Russia is seeking to develop its Far Eastern parts, and we also have a keen interest in development projects of the region including the Tumen River project" involving the two Koreas, Russia, China and Mongolia, a high-ranking government official here told the Chosun Ilbo.
The official said the two sides discussed some concrete measures such as creating a joint fund and supporting South Korean businesses setting up factories in Siberia.
Seoul apparently feels it is important to enlist Russian support for Park's blueprint for establishing peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia.
Park is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg on Sept. 5 and 6, and the two countries are discussing a visit from Putin to Seoul in November.
South Korea is considering signing trade cooperation pacts with the Eurasian Economic Community to bolster strategic ties with Russia. The EEC is an economic bloc consisting of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
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